Tokyo: Japanese camera and precision equipment maker Nikon Corp swung to a small quarterly profit on Thursday, but fell short of market expectations and cut its full-year profit forecast.
Nikon, which competes with market leader Canon Inc and Sony Corp in digital cameras, benefited from healthy demand for its high-end single-lens reflex cameras, especially in Asia.
But, like other Japanese exporters, its profits are being hit hard by a rise in the yen, which is hovering around 15-year highs close to ¥80 against the dollar.
Nikon posted an operating profit of ¥3.9 billion for the July-September quarter, compared with an average estimate of ¥7.3 billion from four analysts.
The company also cut its operating profit forecast for the year to March 2011 to ¥48 billion from ¥52 billion, below an average estimate of ¥57.8 billion, based on a survey of 22 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Nikon on Thursday revised its full-year dollar-yen exchange rate assumption to ¥84 from ¥91.
In precision equipment, Nikon trimmed its annual sales forecast for chip steppers to 53 units from 54.
Rival chip-equipment maker ASML of the Netherlands, the industry leader, beat forecasts with a big rise in third quarter profits last month and said it should end the year with a record order book.
Shares in Nikon have fallen more than 23% since the beginning of the financial year in April. Ahead of the results, the shares rose 0.3% to ¥1,552 on Thursday.